If you want to know everything about the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, go and watch MKBHD’s review.
The king of tech reviews manages to cover everything that matters with these new phones in a typically assured, non-hyperbolic fashion. It’s as detailed as it needs to be without obsessing over anything; he leaves no stone unturned in 22 minutes of laser-cut precision reviewing.
Marques is an absolute master of this, which is why you don’t really need to watch any other review if you want a rounded opinion from someone who really knows what they’re talking about.
Oh, and if you want to see what the camera is capable of, just watch Peter McKinnon’s mastery of that type of review.
That leaves me with a problem. I haven’t got a clue how to review the iPhone 14 Pro Max that’s arriving today. Doing the usual unbox/design/features/camera/battery life/comparison stuff feels incredibly lazy.
Worse, it feels boring.
I just can’t be bothered, and I’m not convinced you give two hoots, either.
Which is why I need your help.
How traditional embargo reviews work
I’m not part of the Embargo Crowd. And I don’t think I ever will be as far as Apple is concerned; it’s a pretty exclusive club consisting, mainly, of the world’s most prominent, Apple-friendly YouTubers.
I genuinely don’t have an issue with this. I’ve built the Mark Ellis Reviews brand as a business, and the need to purchase expensive review units was factored in from the start. It’s part and parcel of my profit and loss.
I’m also not convinced I’d want to be part of that embargo crowd. MKBHD aside, the reviews that suddenly flood out of the doors once Apple lifts the curtain always feel rather familiar.
This isn’t the fault of those reviewers, either. It is, once again, a reflection of the tech they’re working with. These phones are – Dynamic Monkey Island aside – boring. As that innovation ceiling lowers, there’s not much left to talk about.
This is characterised by the sudden swell of comparison photos that hit social media following the launch of an iPhone each year.
“Here’s a photo from the iPhone 13 Pro Max, and the same photo from the iPhone 14 Pro Max – which do you prefer?”
They always look the same. No one cares.
So, where do we go from here?
I don’t know how to review it
I don’t think I’m alone with these thoughts about reviewing big-ticket products like the iPhone. In fact, I know I’m not.
Last month, Sara Dietschy had an absolute mare while trying to review the M2 MacBook Air. It started off relatively well but quickly descended into something every YouTuber will be familiar with – a rambling, incoherent mess of a-roll with no clear path back to sanity.
She admirably kept a lot of that stuff in and used it to switch the video’s narrative from the review of a new laptop into an engaging stream of consciousness about the state of tech reviews.
There are so many of us doing this stuff now. If you search for help while buying a new iPhone, you’re met with thousands of videos on YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram offering to guide you to the right purchase. It’s exhausting.
I’m not sitting here with the answer to this reviewer conundrum. I have no idea where things go from here. I’m not worried, either; this is simply, I believe, a cyclic element of the industry within which I now find myself. As reviewers, we need new things to talk about, but if those new things aren’t interesting enough, it means we have to raise our game.
This doesn’t mean going for the ‘whacky’ or crazy angle, either. I’m not about to head to the top of Everest and try out the satellite feature on the new iPhone, and I’m certainly not going to ‘do a Mr Beast’ and buy one for everybody in my hometown. Those approaches offer fantastic casual entertainment value, but they’re of no use to consumers.
But I need to do something.
I need your help
This is where you lovely lot come in.
What do you want from my iPhone 14 Pro Max review? Assuming you’ve probably digested an awful lot of content about the device already, you must have some prevailing questions.
What bothers you about it? What excites you about it? What’s the one thing that is stopping you from adding it to your cart?
If all else fails…
I’m aware I’m leaving this a bit late – sorry. But the thought only came to me last night while chatting with a couple of YouTuber buddies.
So, depending on how many replies I get to this request, I may have to do some of the work myself and settle on a review process for the iPhone 14 Pro Max. Fast.
With that in mind, I do have the following plan. We all know that the iPhone 14 Pro Max looks identical to the last version, albeit with a couple of fancy screen updates and a better camera. However, I’m coming from the polar opposite – the iPhone 13 mini.
That’ll be my starting point. What’s it like to ‘go big’? And, more importantly, how does the iPhone 14 Pro Max feel as a package against the phone I’ve been using solidly for a year?
I’m still not convinced that’s much of a review, though.
Come on, guys – get involved!